For starters this post is only relevant if you believe in keeping a balance between work and non-work activity. Although traditionally people seem to think this most aptly applies to those with family and children, I really think it applies to those who are single or in any relational situation. The balance being referred to here is taking care of the whole person and the social environments we find ourselves engaged in.
Having established that, clear definitions of success need to be defined on a case-by-case basis. Success for my wife and family could be very different then for you and your significant other, or your social sphere, but it still needs to be defined.
The success of winning the battle of the work-life balance, however, reveals a lot about your philosophy of leadership. Many say they believe in this balance but their effectiveness at achieving it belies their proclamation. One or the other wins, or in a worse case, mediocrity reigns over all.
Winning isn’t in the illusion of balance, it is in the reality of prioritizing and accomplishing the most crucial things first. To do that requires wisdom and discernment, something that must be practiced and implemented with discipline. It requires the wisdom to prioritize in a balanced fashion in both spheres consistently over time, with positive results.
In the Christian tradition of interpreting the ancient writings of the bible, the best translation of the word wisdom I have heard is “skillful living.” I like that. I often think wisdom is reserved for the aged, those that have enough experience to truly be wise. However, that interpretation makes me feel that, although age most likely helps, skillful living can be achieved at any age.
Part of the hard work of being a leader is constantly learning, adding to the skill sets you need, to be not only a better business leader, but also a better person. Balancing that learning into actionable life skills sounds a lot like living wisely or skillfully to me.